An Egypt-mediated cease fire seemed a possibility this morning, with Israel agreeing to the proposal and halting fire for six hours—while Hamas continued to launch nearly 50 rockets from Gaza. According to the New York Times, Hamas’ military wing took responsibility for the rockets in a Twitter post, writing, “We will continue to bombard until our conditions are met.”
Now, the short-lived glimmer of a truce has been shattered, with Israel resuming air strikes and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing retaliation.
“This morning, we decided that Israel will accept the ceasefire deal,” he says, at a brief press conference alongside Defense Minister Ya’alon and IDF Chief Gantz.
“I said that if Hamas and Islamic Jihad don’t accept the ceasefire, they will pay a heavy price.”
Meanwhile, the first Israeli casualty in the weeklong conflict has been reported. An Israeli man was killed in a mortar strike near the Gaza border Tuesday; according to the Times of Israel he was delivering food to a soldier.
The website also reports that Netanyahu has fired Deputy Defense Minster Danny Danon, who earlier today objected to the security cabinet agreeing to the cease fire. “Once again, Hamas is dictating the terms. We must not be humiliated. We must correct the mistake of accepting the ceasefire proposal made this morning and let the military do its job,” he reportedly said.
Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.